Despite promises that Via would be releasing a dual-core version of its Nano processor by the end of last year, 2009 has come and gone, and Via has yet to show results – until now. At Computex 2010 in Taiwan, Via showed off what it’s calling a tech demo – the new dual-core x86 Nano CPU.
Processors that run the x86 instruction set – like those found in all recent consumer machines, whether Mac or PC – are largely made by companies like Intel and AMD. Via is a pretty far-off third, but that doesn’t stop the scrappy CPU company from trying.
The new dual-core Nano is clocked at 1.6GHz, slightly under the 2.0GHz that was promised. While this tech demo is built using a 65nm process, the original was promised to be built on a 45nm process, and Via is sticking to that goal. At least, something close to it – the shipping processor, expected to hit the market in about six months, will be be built using a not-65-nm-but-otherwise-unnamed process.
While little is known about the performance of the dual-core Nano, Via showed off its prototype decoding 720p video in real time, purportedly unassisted by dedicated video decoding. Time will tell just how Via ends up marketing the two-core chip, but they’re a company known for interesting products; recently, Via brought to market a tiny pico-ITX board capable of decoding 1080p HD video by marrying a 1GHz Eden CPU with its integrated Chrome9 graphics.